Community Action Project: Search for the Solution


At this point your group should have completed a detailed identification of the problem. Now you will turn your efforts to studying the problem, selecting the best solution and developing an action plan. Your group should follow these steps:

1. Collect and analyze information on your problem.

You will need to find sources for information to better understand the problem and possible solutions. Sources could include:

  • Interviews/visits
  • Library and on-line research
  • Observations
  • Surveys and other studies of the situation

You will need to decide which group members will conduct research and what information you are looking for. Next week we will have visits from a variety of local, county and state officials. You should prepare questions for them to help you get started.

2. Generate possible alternative to solve the problem.

Once you have studied the problem in more detail your group should consider possible alternatives to address the problem. As you "brainstorm" ideas its best to let the ideas flow. Don’t stop to decide which solutions won’t work, instead try to generate as many ideas as possible to solve the problem. Be sure that someone records the ideas as you come up with them.

3. Evaluate possible solutions and decide on the best alternative to pursue.

At this point your group should go back over your list of possible solutions. Some you may be able to easily eliminate because they are totally impractical. Others will need more careful consideration.

Your group should take your three best solutions and evaluate them as follows:

  • Possible solution
  • Its benefits (+’s)
  • Its costs (-’s)
  • Likely results

Keep track of the benefits, costs and results of each proposed solution and chose the one solution with the greatest benefits, lowest costs and most positive results.

4. Develop an action plan to promote your solution.

Your group needs to develop an action plan to promote your solution.

You will need to detail:

  • What your action goals are - what do you hope to accomplish?
  • What actions you will follow
  • What each group member will do
  • A time line for your work (You will have the rest of the semester to follow your action plan)

Possible actions you might consider:

  • Letters written to government or school officials.
  • Letters or news stories written for the newspaper.
  • Visit to a government official or agency to lobby for your proposal.
  • Sponsoring a meeting or forum for people to get information.
  • Prepare a fact sheet, newsletter, posters or booklets.
  • Sponsor a petition to deliver to officials.
  • Visit other classrooms or schools to promote your ideas.
  • Prepare a show for local cable access.
  • Call a talk radio program.
  • Prepare display to be shown at school or in the community.

5. Develop a written and oral presentation of your work to class - Due November 25

By November 25 you should have studied the problem decided on the best solution and planned your action phase.

You will be asked to turn in a typewritten report on these activities and present your progress to the class. You will be provided with a guide to the format of this report. Mr. Pappas and your fellow group members will evaluate your work to this point.

After group presentations on November 25 - 27, you will have the rest of the course to follow your action plan and document the results. You will make a final report to the class on the outcomes of your efforts during the week of January 21.



 Peter Pappas Senior Consultant
International Center for Leadership in Education


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